Fight between Lt. Gov. Cagle, City of Decatur heats up - CBS46 News

Fight between Lt. Gov. Cagle, City of Decatur heats up

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s fight with the City of Decatur over immigration policy is heating up.

We told you earlier that the state official is threatening to cut off state and federal funds to the city over a fight about so-called “sanctuary cities.” Decatur says it is not a sanctuary city.

Millions of dollars are at stake.

Anyone affected by this fight is likely to be locked up, and both sides seem to be digging in their heels. The fight is over honoring a request from federal immigration officers to hold someone in jail for 48 hours after they’ve been released.

“The right thing is to coordinate and cooperate,” Cagle said. “That’s all we are asking of Decatur. Ok?”

That’s not ok, said Decatur’s mayor and commissioner.

“We will turn over anyone with a judicial warrant,” Mayor Patti Garrett said. “But we don’t turn over anyone with just an ICE administrative request.”

“If you just say I want you to hold this person, yeah, bring us the documentation,” said Decatur Commissioner Tony Powers.

Decatur supporters say cooperating with ICE without a warrant erodes trust in police, and distracts from fighting more serious crime. Critics say cooperating helps speed deportation and slows the flow of illegal immigration.

“All we're asking them to do is follow the law,” Cagle said. “If they can't in good conscience understand their citizens' safety is more important than being a harbourer of criminal illegal aliens? This doesn't make sense to me.”

“In my estimation, the city policy does not contravene state law,” said State Senator Elena Parent.

Parent is asking the state attorney general for an opinion. Cagle is filing a complaint with a little-used state board.

“This is immigration enforcement review panel will look at it and who represents the board is also our attorney general,” Cagle said.

One way or another, State Attorney General Chris Carr is likely to be a referee in this fight between city and state. 

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